Dear Family and Friends, 28 February, 2008
Greetings from Africa! I hope that all is well in your corner of the world. We are struggling over here with various illnesses, civil unrest, and injustice in various levels that greatly affect daily life. The most important thing that I can ask is for you to pray for Burkina and block the power of the enemy who comes like a thief in the night wanting to kill, steal, and destroy.
In the past few weeks we have lost 2 babies, Adama and Hassane, and Balguissa is now in the hospital fighting for her life. The ‘flu season’ this year has hit very hard. It is a viral infection so antibiotics do not work. The symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea are treated but because of compromised immune systems the babies and older people often do not survive.
I am in Ouaga this week for another series of meetings with Social Action to define how the orphanages and Social Action can and should work together. Social Action is like our Division of Children and Family Services. Out of the 37 orphanages registered here in Burkina, only one of them is run by Social Action. All of the others are privately run either by nationals or by missions like ours. We work under the supervision of Social Action but because of lack of organization and planning, many things that are supposed to be working between us and them, are not really working. There are several ‘decision makers’ attending these meetings so please pray that they will actually hear what we are saying and that a good foundation will be laid for the sake of Burkina’s suffering children.
The 6th graders in our school have been working very hard preparing for the standardized test that they will take in June. This test is a pass/fail exam which allows them to continue their studies to middle school or to remain in primary school. Many children get passing grades in their classes yet do not pass this test and cannot continue their studies.
Please continue to pray with us concerning the land north of the orphanage which was given to the church. The case went before the judge in Yako this past week with a request to stop the construction until the true owner of the land could be determined. But, the judge refused to even make a decision saying that the case needed to be transferred to the Ouaga courts. The translation of this ‘lack of decision’ is most likely that the judge is refusing to make a decision for political reasons. His position is assigned by the government and if he rules against the government in this case, it could affect his career. And, in the meantime, the construction work on the land continues to develop at a very fast rate.
We’ve been experiencing some civil unrest in Burkina. The issue is the rising cost of food and supplies, especially milk, grain, oil, and soap. Last week, there were demonstrations in Bobo, Ouagadougou and Ouayaghuia. They all started peacefully but mob control took over and there was rock throwing, burning of buildings and cars, and in Bobo, one man was killed. The greatest physical damage in Bobo was that rioters burned the mayor’s office destroying very valuable paper documents as well as what was stored on computers.
Today there was more rioting and demonstrations held in Ouaga. People are trying to get the government’s attention by throwing bricks at buildings and cars, burning cars and buildings, destroying signs, etc. Please pray for order and calm to be restored to Burkina and that the Lord will intervene on behalf of those in poverty who are struggling so much with the increased prices.
Well, I must close for now.
Love and blessings to you!
Ruth. . . Mom. . . Grandma